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Brown, Francis Henry (1835–1917)

Francis Henry Brown, pioneer compiler of New England medical directories and promoter of medical and patriotic organizations, was born in Boston, where he spent his life, August 8, 1835. He was the son of Francis and Caroline Mathilde Kuhn Brown, was prepared for Harvard College at the Boston Public Latin School, graduated in 1857, and received an M. D. from Harvard in 1861, becoming an assistant instructor in chemistry at Cambridge, from 1857 to 1859, then serving as house officer at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He entered the Army and was acting assistant surgeon from 1862 to 1864. When he had been in practice six years he became a founder of the Boston Children's Hospital and he served that institution as secretary and as surgeon and consulting surgeon for a lifetime. He became treasurer of the Obstetrical Society of Boston, founded in 1861, and held the position until his death, and he was secretary of his college class. Among his other activities were: Surgeon to Boston Dispensary 1866–1872, editor Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 1870–1872, president Suffolk District Medical Society 1897–1898, president Massachusetts Society Sons of the American Revolution 1901–1903, treasurer of the Unitarian Club, and secretary of the Bunker Hill Monument Association.

In 1875 Dr. Brown published "The Medical Register for the Cities of Boston, Cambridge, Charlestown and Chelsea for the years 1866, 1873 and 1875," 3 vols. And in the same year, "The Medical Register for the State of Massachusetts," to be followed in 1879 by "The Medical Register for New England," the eighth edition of which containing biographical notices of practising physicians, a most useful book, was published in 1895. Besides these works he wrote "Harvard University in the War of 1861–1865," and "The Second Church in Boston. 1900." He contributed also to "Allibone's Dictionary of Authors" and to the medical biographies of Irving A. Watson and W. B. Atkinson.

On September 24, 1861, Dr. Brown married Louisa Beckford of Salem, Mass.; she died in 1865 and March 23, 1871, he married Mary Sherwood Wood of Auburn, N. Y. There were two children. Dr. Brown's personality epitomized geniality. He was rather below the average in height, had a military bearing and was unfailing in his attendance at meetings of the societies of which he was a member.

During the latter part of his life he had an office in the business part of Boston, where he was medical examiner for life insurance companies and transacted the business of the many positions he held.

His death, which occurred on May 16, 1917, was due to injuries received from being struck by a street car in front of his residence, the Hotel Buckminster.

Har. Graduates Mag., Sept., 1917.
Mass. Soc. Sons of Amer. Rev. Reg. for 1904, Boston. Portrait.
Hist. Har. Med. Sch., Harrington, 1905.